I had an interesting upbringing. Before moving to Russell, Kentucky, as a middle schooler I lived in Orlando, Florida, where my parents served as foster parents. In fact, my siblings and I were all adopted out of foster care.
My mom, who died in December, often joked that our dinner table looked like the United Nations. My parents are white. I am Asian. I have siblings who are white and also Latino, Italian and African American. I am not going to debate the recent situation on any side. I will not discuss the senseless murder or the reaction because a divisive conversation only serves to divide, and that is not what anyone needs. Instead, I am going to talk about my mom.
She had more than 400 foster children in and out of our home throughout 20 years. Those children were of all races and all religions, some from backgrounds that you would not believe, but to her, they were all “just kids who needed a safe place to land.” She picked eight of us to be her forever children and said that her “colorful bouquet” (which is what she called us kids) was extra beautiful. She also told me that she wished my brother (who is black) would not go running in his hoodie because she was afraid, he would get shot. Moms should not have to think like that.
On Friday, I woke up to my daughter crying. She is five and had had a bad dream. I did not tell her it was crazy or tease her because I hadn’t seen it firsthand. I gave her a hug and told her I love her because she was scared and even when we do not understand other people’s feelings-the feelings are real. What we all need right now is love. Our nation as a whole is scared and angry for all sorts of reasons and doubting that or arguing about those feelings won’t make them go away.
On Sunday in downtown Portsmouth, I witnessed that love my mother always talked about when I had the opportunity to cover a peaceful protest. The crowd was a reflection of my own family, many colors, united in love and with a shared purpose. I know my mom would be enormously proud.
It is hard to see the love sometimes in the world, but like my mother, I choose to search for it every day. Sunday it was a little easier to find in Portsmouth as the community came together to make a change and spread love and unity.
My mom once told me she wanted to change the world, so she decided to love the world. I beg you-no matter what you believe about the current state of our nation, act with love because unlike hate-love is colorblind.
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
Adam Black is the editor of the Portsmouth Daily Times. He can be reached at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]
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